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Summary: Love is the key element in touching the lives around us with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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I Corinthians 13:13 “And the Greatest of These is Love”

INTRODUCTION

Mother’s Day is a day when we celebrate God’s gift of love and loving relationships. While some of us have mother’s who have not been nurturing or supportive, most of us have experienced the presence of people love us. We know what it is like to be loved and to love.

Love is central to the human experience.

THE PRIMACY OF LOVE

The topic of the majority of songs is that of love. Love makes us sing.

A significant part of the publishing industry is based on love; love in romance novels and love in “how to” books.

Our main conversations may be about the weather and the possibilities for a winning Husker season, but love is never far away from our thoughts.

PAUL’S ODE TO LOVE

I Corinthians 13 is called “The Love Chapter” by many. It is Paul’s ode to love. In this chapter, Paul celebrates the essential and the eternal nature of love.

Without love in the equation, the result is always zero.

· Great works without love amount to nothing.

· Faith without love is cold and heartless. Good examples of this are the Phariseeism of Jesus’ day and the fundamentalism of today.

· Hope without love is distant and removed. In the late 1800’s the Russellites had great hope that Jesus would return at a specific time. They sold all of their possessions and went to a mountain to await Christ’s coming. They separated themselves from everyone else demonstrating a hope without love.

Love always will be.

· When we see Jesus face to face, we will no longer need faith. We will have knowledge. Faith will pass away.

· Eventually our hope will be fulfilled. We will no longer need to hope, but love will still need to be part of our lives.

Faith hope and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.

THE CHALLENGE OF LOVE

Paul writes an inspiring, yet challenging, description of love in this chapter. When we read these qualities of love we both rejoice at how people have demonstrated these qualities to us, and how we have failed to share them with others.

A film clip from the movie, “Dead Man Walking” demonstrates these qualities of love. A nun befriends a convicted murderer and rapist named Matthew Poncelet. Judged and condemned, Matthew has no one to love him except this nun.

(run film clip)

In a sense, we are all dead men walking, looking for the face of love.

CONCLUSION

Paul reminds us of the importance of love in our lives.

God is love. God loves us and will never stop loving us.

Love is the central characteristic of the kingdom of God and thus of Christians. God invites us to participate in the kingdom of God by being overwhelmed with God’s love for us and by sharing that love with others.

Amen


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